Generic Drug Industry: Top Five Players

The generic drug business, increasingly global as governments from the U.S. to Spain to India to China try to control rising healthcare costs, has grown more rapidly than the brand-name pharmaceutical business. The smart people at FiercePharma pulled generic sales out of overall revenue for pharma companies and compiled a list of the top generic drug sellers.

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Teva (TEVA), No. 1 with $10.4 billion in generic sales in 2012, according to FiercePharma, is in the midst of laying off thousands of workers – in large part due to a looming patent expiration on its own branded drug, Copaxone, with annual sales of about $4 billion.

Novartis (NVS), No. 2 at $8.7 million in generic drug sales in 2012, is using the faster growth it gets from generics to push overall Novartis sales above Pfizer’s (PFE) by the end of the decade, according to some estimates.

Mylan (MYL), No. 3 with $5.95 billion in generic drug sales in 2012, is growing via acquisitions.

Abbott (ABT) spun off its brand-name pharmaceutical business as AbbVie (ABBV), along with the $9 billion-a-year blockbuster Humira. But Abbott has a huge generics business outside the U.S. and is No. 4 with $5.1 billion in generics sales in 2012.

Actavis (ACT), No. 5 with $4.4 billion in generic sales, according to FiercePharma, is the result of a 2012 merger with Watson.

Jeff Bailey, The Editor of YCharts, is a former reporter, editor and columnist at the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. He can be reached at Read the RIABiz profile of YCharts. You can also request a demonstration of YCharts Platinum.

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